Brazilian mining company Vale SA has begun preparations for a potential fuel leak from the damaged iron ore carrier MV Stellar Banner, which is stranded off the Brazilian northern coast with 4,000 tones of fuel aboard. Vale said in a statement it requested Petrobras appropriate ships to deal with the possible leak and has arranged for the dispatch of oceanic buoys to the area. The MV Stellar Banner, owned by South Korea’s Polaris, had only started its trip to China carrying iron ore when it was stranded.
The price of the main products exported by Brazil plummeted after the outbreak of coronavirus in China, the main buyer of Brazilian products, according to BMJ Consultores Associados. Since the second half of January, the price of soybeans fell 5.13%, that of oil 15.5% and iron ore 14.3%. These three products accounted for 78% of Brazil’s foreign sales in 2019, which totalled $177.3 billion.
Chinese-owned grain trader COFCO International has added up Tony Tian, Helen Song and Alfonso Romero were to its executive committee, expanding the number of members to seven, and appointed Philip Xu as new managing director Brazil, replacing Valmor Schaffer. Tian will take on the additional role of Managing Director Regions for Brazil and North America and is to relocate from Geneva to Sao Paulo. COFCO International, which is majority owned by Chinese state food conglomerate COFCO Corp, had said in October that Schaffer and his regional finance director, Wander Meyer, had been placed on leave.
“ASF, coronavirus and a new outbreak of bird flu influence consumer habits and may drive Chinese demand for Brazilian meat,” said Francisco Turra, president of Brazil’s meat industry association ABPA. The new threat reported on Saturday comes as China has been trying to increase local poultry output to substitute for pork. Last year, Chinese imports of Brazilian chicken rose 34% while its imports of Brazilian pork jumped 61%.
The General Administration of Customs of China (GACC) authorised the import of melon from Brazil, in what constitutes the first agreement of both countries on this fruit. China consumes approximately half of melon world production, equivalent to 17 million tons in 2017, and the Brazilian harvest coincides with the low season in China. In 2018, Brazil exported around 200 thousand tons of melon to USA, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Russia and the European Union.
Chinese beef importers are seeking to renegotiate prices previously agreed when they closed deals to buy dozens of shipments from Brazil. Some of them are refusing to pay for shipments that already arrived in China. Brazilian beef exports to China increased more than 50% last year helping beef prices in Brazil to reach an all-time high. Some Brazilian beef exporters are now trying to divert cargoes that have not yet reached China to other potential destinations, such as Iran.
Xuzhou Construction Machinery Group (XCMG) will open a bank in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais in the first quarter of 2020. Banco XCMG S.A. will be the first foreign financial institution launched by a Chinese industry group and headquartered in Pouso Alegre, southern Minas Gerais, where the Chinese group has been operating an industrial park since 2015.
Brazil shipped 1.847 million tonnes of beef, up 12.4% from 2018, and revenue was up 15.5% to $7.59 billion, according to the Brazilian Beef Exporters Association (Abiec). Throughout 2019, China boosted exports and took the lead in purchases with 26.7% of total volume and $2.6 billion revenue. United Arab Emirates imported 71,397 tonnes of beef from Brazil in 2019, a figure 93% higher than 2018.